First Pitch: Here’s What the Mock Drafts Have Been Saying for the Pirates

We are just three days away from the 2020 MLB amateur draft. That’s usually the most exciting time around here, even with the regular seasons in the minors and majors already in full swing. This year all of the attention is on the draft, so I’m sure the days leading up to it will be drawing even more attention than usual. We will be getting the final mock drafts from all of the big sources, with some people putting out multiple mock drafts on the final day as they hear new things from industry sources. Today I wanted to look at how the mock drafts have gone from late last year until the latest ones this week.

The first mock draft after the draft spots were set came from Baseball America in early October. They admitted it was extremely early, but they didn’t know at the time that not much would change as far as on field results for the top draft picks. They had the Pirates going with high school pitcher Jared Kelley with the seventh overall pick.

MLB Pipeline tried their hand at a mock draft in December, though they had an earlier one before we knew the final draft spots. The December one had the Pirates taking Jared Kelley as well.

Three months after their first mock, BA had the Pirates taking local prep outfielder Austin Hendrick with the seventh overall pick.

Five weeks later, BA had another mock, though this one was a bit different. They had a scout make all of the odd-numbered picks. He went with Louisville left-handed pitcher Reid Detmers.

A month after play was halted, BA came out with a new mock draft. This one came after they were able to gather game reports from scouts. This one had the Pirates taking right-handed pitcher Max Meyer from Minnesota.

Jonathan Mayo from MLB Pipeline had an April 30th mock draft in which the Pirates took high school outfielder Zac Veen.

BA had their fourth mock draft on May 13th and we heard the name Reid Detmers for a second time.

The same day, Keith Law made his first mock attempt and he had the Pirates taking New Mexico State second baseman Nick Gonzales.

The next day on MLB Pipeline, Jim Callis made his first solo attempt and he had the Pirates going with Arkansas outfielder Heston Kjerstad. This was the fifth different result in the last five attempts from major industry sources.

Pipeline was also up next, though this time was Jonathan Mayo’s second solo attempt. He had the Pirates going with Detmers.

May 27th was a busy day, with three new mock drafts all at once, including one from Kiley McDaniel at ESPN and the first from Fangraphs. Those two both went with Heston Kjerstad, while BA’s fifth mock draft had Georgia right-handed pitcher Emerson Hancock.

The next day both MLB Pipeline and Keith Law posted new mocks. Pipeline was Jim Callis picking again and he stayed with Kjerstad as his pick. Law also stuck with his pick, giving the Pirates Nick Gonzales for a second time.

Keith Law had the next mock draft as well, this time switching things up with the Pirates taking right-handed prep pitcher Mick Abel. Law noted that the Pirates might decide to not go safe with a college player and instead try for a high ceiling high school arm. Abel fits that mold, as he still has plenty of projection left in his 6’5″ frame.

While Law changed away from Nick Gonzales in his third mock, just hours later, Baseball America had Gonzales going to the Pirates in their sixth mock draft attempt. We got a third mock on Wednesday night when Jonathan Mayo tried his hand for a third time. He had the Pirates taking Heston Kjerstad, though he also mentioned that Zac Veen and Reid Detmers, his two previous picks, were both in play here.




A trip off the beaten path in California

John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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